Two main techniques have been used for training elephants,which we may call respectively the tough and the
gentle.The former method simply consists of selting-an elephant to work and beating him until he does what is
Expected of him. Apart from any moral considerations,this is a stupid method of training,for it produces a
resentful animal who at a later stage may well turn into a man-killer. The gentle method requires more patience
in the early stages but produces a good-tempered elephant who will give many years of loyal service.
The first essential in elephant training is to assign to the animal a single trainerwho will be
entirely responsible for the job.
Elephants like to have one master just as dogs do,and are capable of a considerable degree of
personal affection.There are even stories of half-trained elephant calves who have refused to feed and pined to
death when,by some unavoidable circumstance,they have been deprived of their own trainer.Such extreme cases must probably
be taken with a grain of salt, but they do underline the general principle that the
relationship between elephant and trainer is the key to successful training.